By AJ Robinson
“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.”
This statement by spring break goer Brady Sluder during his Miami trip is the mentality many college students have continued to possess during the recent global pandemic, COVID-19. Lots of people around the country with this similar mentality have also been trying to take advantage of cheap airline tickets in order to take a vacation. Perhaps they thought that the media was over-exaggerating the situation and this wasn’t a big deal, but they found out quickly that this health crisis is not an exaggeration. They’ve realized, now, that the panic is very real.
Spring break is an iconic, played-up event in college life. Partying, traveling and creating memories with our peers fill the typical student’s break. For most, it’s a time where we get to spend time on the beach drinking cold beverages and soaking up the sun.
UMW students had our spring break just in time before all hell broke loose around the world with this life-changing health crisis. However, students at other schools didn’t get so lucky with their spring break dates, which caused many of them to rebel. Lots of students still went on their spring break trips despite being strongly advised to stay away from large groups. A lot of them had this arrogant mentality of not letting some little virus ruin their fun, and did not take the health risks associated with this situation as seriously as they should have.
The virus has been spreading like wildfire with now over 471,400 cases and 21,295 deaths worldwide. The careless attitude of spring breakers to still go out and party despite being strongly encouraged not to be in large groups led Florida Governor Ron Desantis to say “the party’s over,” and close all the beaches down, NBC reported.
I guess we should consider this situation as a dose of reality. The reality that we aren’t immortal and that when a situation like this arises, it’s far from time to be partying. It’s time to sober up, grow up and look at the bigger picture. Yes, because we’re young we’re at a lower risk of dying from this virus, but without social distancing, we act as vectors for the virus, putting older and immunocompromised people at risk at a much faster rate. This puts more strain on medical resources and further increases the likelihood of people dying from the disease. There are now nearly 400 cases of the coronavirus in Virginia alone and over 68,400 cases in the United States.
Of course, I can sympathize with the disappointment of losing a spring break celebration, which is often planned in advance and already paid for.
But on the flipside we must also be sympathetic to those who are at high risk of contracting the virus and never seeing another spring break. The rest of the world is making changes and sacrifices far beyond a beach party. Not everyone can work from home, and their best bet to get by–for who knows how long–is collecting their small sum of unemployment money.
We have to go through this together in order for things to get better, faster. Lots of students on campus, including myself, still went out after the first emails about social distancing, but as this health crisis continues to escalate around the globe, I think we can all agree that we now understand the severity of this situation. We as millennials have to now realize that there are greater things at stake, and by going to parties or music festivals, we could potentially put our loved ones at risk. Coachella can wait.